Observer to test sports supplement

The Observer is producing a dummy sports supplement that is to be tested along with other ideas such as separate TV and Internet sections.

The dummy is understood to be a 40-page colour publication.

Matt Tench, former editor of Haymarket Business Publications’ football magazine FourFourTwo and ex-deputy sports editor at The Independent, is thought to be working on the project as a freelance.

Neither Tench nor John Mulholland, deputy editor of The Observer and former editor of Mirror Group’s Sporting Life, would comment on the project.

The move to create new sections is not unprecedented. In January, The Observer launched a personal finance supplement called Cash, a film guide called Screen and the travel section Escape. At the time of the revamp, it was rumoured that the paper’s sports section would be upgraded.

The Observer is looking for ways to bolster its circulation, and this month it received a boost.

The paper, owned by the Guardian Media Group, recorded a nine per cent month-on-month increase in circulation in the ABCs. Its circulation for the six months to September was 398,443, down 0.96 per cent year-on-year. The circulation figure for September was 416,091, compared with 381,101 in August.

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